Mambo play centre, Cardiff

After Mondays experience at a local play centre, yesterday we decided to pay Mambo’s a visit.

Mambo’s has only been open a few weeks but I’ve already heard some good reviews from friends, my inner child couldn’t wait to go!

Mambo is situated 5 minutes from Cardiff city centre and is easy to get to with plenty of parking available on site.

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Upon entering there are ‘rules of play’ posters next to the desk, where you need to sign in and pay.
I like these rules of play posters, it tells parents and their children, what’s acceptable behaviour and what’s not.
As Willow is under 12 months old, we didn’t need to pay for her and parents go free, bonus! To get to the play area, a staff member needs to open a little picket fence that’s magnetically locked, great security to stop little ones escaping.

Once inside, we could see all the different areas clearly defined, baby, toddler, party area ect. We choose a table, took off our shoes and made our way over to the baby area, which consists of soft play shapes. I think it would have been nice to have a little ball pit for the babies even though there is one in the toddler area.
One thing that I love about Mambo’s is the ‘rules’ signs, there was one on the baby area…..

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And one on the toddler area…..

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Not once did I see a child in the wrong area and Willow was safe to explore the soft play. Friends have even told me that staff do enforce the rules and they make sure all children play in the right zones.

One thing I did find odd, Mambo’s has carpet tiles. Whilst we were there, we saw staff cleaning with a hand held Hoover several times. Although the carpet was very clean, I can’t help but to think that in a few months times, it won’t be as nice. But it did feel nice to walk on!

After Willow had a little play, we decided to order some lunch. They have a decent menu available and they are competitively priced.

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I ordered a latte, hot chocolate, baked potato with beans, tuna melt panini and a child’s meal, burger and mash, it came to £14 odd.

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Please excuse the drinks pictures, I ate all the yummy cream off my hot chocolate before I remembered to take the picture!

All of the plates, cutlery, high chair ect were spotless, there were staff members constantly cleaning and they were easily identified as they had ‘STAFF’ written on their t-shirts. A staff member was never far away, there were plenty of them and they also engaged in conversation with us.

I do think that they need to update their website and social media with real pictures of their play centre, even though the artist impression pictures are pretty accurate, it’s nice to see the real thing before you visit. At the moment, their website says ‘Real images will be available shortly’.

Overall, we had a very pleasant experience. I will be telling friends about Mambo’s and would most definitely recommend to others. We’ll be back!

 

Children’s play centre

On Monday we attended a relatives birthday party at a local children’s play centre, all was well until we took Willow to play in the baby and toddler area.

I don’t begrudge any parents having five minutes peace with a cuppa, but please, supervise your children. Don’t use a play centre as child care and don’t let them run riot whilst you use the time to gossip with friends. It spoils the experience for others and I very much doubt we will be returning any time soon.

Every play centre we have visited, have designated areas for certain ages and activities. These areas need to be enforced by the staff to avoid little ones getting injured. Boys kicking a ball about next to the baby and toddler is dangerous, what annoys me more, is that there’s a special enclosed area for ball games, that they chose to ignore. The ball got kicked at my head and narrowly missed Willow.

The baby and toddler area is for 0-3 year olds, I’d imaging it’s more or less the same age limit for most play centres. One little boy, older than three (he was wearing a school uniform) was in the baby and toddler area and was throwing the soft play blocks about, he held one above Willow head, ready to drop it, Simon gave him the death stare, he soon moved. Another child shoved Willow out of his way.

I’m shocked that parents allow their children to ‘play’ like this and even more shocked that the staff don’t enforce the designated areas.

Children’s play centres aren’t the cheapest places to visit, for the amount they charge, I’d at least want a safe environment for my child to play in.
This afternoon we will be visiting a new play centre that has recently opened, it’s about 15 minutes drive away but I’ve heard some good reviews, watch this space!

Today’s bargains

I LOVE nearly new sales! Today mum and I went to a nearly new sale in The Paget rooms in Penarth. It’s run by BATS and the majority of the profit goes toward their grants scheme.

We managed to get some amazing bargains. Toys, clothes, playpen and toiletries. Because it’s a nearly new sale, only items in really good condition are accepted. The clothes we bought were either brand new with tags or only worn a hand full of times.

Nearly new sales are always busy, elbows at the ready ladies, everyone is there for a bargain! You can save so much money by going to a sale. Parents-to-be can get kitted out for their new arrival at a fraction of the cost. Why spend more money than you have to?!

Here’s a picture of today’s haul, I think we did pretty well and there’s a few bits that are down my parents house

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It’s got me thinking, there aren’t enough nearly new sales. Maybe I should organise my own……